Many of the symptoms that are felt during alcohol detox are the direct result of alcohol withdrawal or the abrupt elimination of alcohol from the daily routine. Alcohol detox symptoms may range from relatively mild symptoms that are easily treated to more severe complications that require around-the-clock medical care to ensure the safety of the recovering addict. Many of us have felt the early symptoms of alcohol withdrawal after a long night of drinking with friends—a hangover is the early sign that alcohol detox is necessary.
Early Signs of Alcohol Withdrawal
In the early stages of alcohol addiction, most people drink with friends or family members socially but this social drinking often turns into daily drinking. Daily drinking can lead to a physical dependence on the substance and the body will naturally crave more of the alcohol when the individual stops drinking. During these early phases, the symptoms of alcohol detox are mostly attributed to a hangover which typically goes away with time or with another drink.
Mild Symptoms of Alcohol Detox
As time goes on and the alcohol addiction becomes more severe the addict will begin to show more signs of withdrawal especially if they stop drinking completely. At this point in the game, most addicts are not so heavily addicted to alcohol that they suffer from severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms during detox but they do show some of the following signs:
- muscle aches
- rapid heart rate
- clammy skin
- difficulty sleeping
Severe Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal
As alcohol addiction progresses, the symptoms of withdrawal that are present during alcohol detox will also become more severe. For a heavy drinker who has been using alcohol regularly for years, the symptoms of alcohol detox and withdrawal can be so severe that the only safe way not to drink is to be supervised by a doctor during the detoxification process and to be supplied medications to counteract the withdrawal symptoms. The following alcohol withdrawal symptoms are considered severe and require immediate medical attention to ensure the safety of the individual:
- Delirium tremens
- black outs
- suicidal thoughts or tendencies